This issue encompasses both the end of the current liturgical year and the start of a new one. In between we get Thanksgiving Day, a secular holiday that resonates with Christian undertones: The original meaning of the word Eucharist is very close to Thanksgiving.
The memorial of Christ the King traces back to 1925, when Pope Pius XI instituted it largely in response to the rise of nationalism and secularism. (It’s one thing to be properly patriotic and another to forget that our true fatherland is heaven.) In 1969 Pope Paul VI elevated it from feast to solemnity and placed it on the last Sunday in the liturgical year (Nov. 21 this year) in order to emphasize its eschatological importance.
The next Sunday, Nov. 28, kicks off Advent. We’ve got an original report on living the season by staff writer Joseph Pronechen on page B2, and this issue helps you prepare with two of the four easy guides we roll out each year in anticipation of the Nativity of the Lord.
May Christ the King rule over all our Thanksgiving celebrations and all our Advent observations!